Lila Igram is undeniably hospitable.
“Would you like a gumball?” she asks, pointing to a slender package of colorful orbs resting on her desk. “I love them.”
In her humble, tidy office, there are two simple desks facing each wall, one for her and one for visitors. She is loquacious, curious and all smiles as she walks room to room in her house slippers, giving a quick tour of her workspace in the Westview Canyon home she and her husband built when they moved to North Austin two decades ago.
At 50, Igram appears to be a woman in her mid-30s. Her style is effortless and natural and she wears barely a stitch of makeup. Only a couple gray hairs poke through her long, cascading, dark-brown hair.
Igram is the founder and executive officer of Connecther, a communication and crowdfunding platform focused on advancing the lives of impoverished women and girls worldwide. Through a fundraising platform, her largely volunteer-driven organization connects already-formed nonprofit partners in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and North America with donors who search for what they want to fund on connecther.org. The projects—ranging from training midwives in Somalia to funding a girls’ soccer team in Malaysia to bringing clean water to the children of Palestine—are fueled by leaders on the ground. Connecther also organizes the Girls Impact the World Film Festival, an initiative that provides an outlet for youth to tell stories about the critical issues facing women and girls in their own communities. To date, the festival has received more than 1,000 short films and has provided more than $25,000 in scholarships to high-school- and college-age students each year. Celebrity judges from festivals past included former model and humanitarian Christy Turlington Burns, movie producer Jeff Skoll and musician Michael Einziger.
READ MORE By Clarisa Ramirez , Photos by Dustin Meyer